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Rebutting the blamers

"You get more victim blaming when people are uncomfortable," Sinclair said.

big help, she said.

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"When it's rape, it's always about the victim," said Michele Hughes, executive director of Nike Training Jacket Mens the Life Crisis Center in Salisbury.

Accuser blamed in rape case

She said she expected some victim blaming in the Parkside case, but the sheer amount of comments on the WBOC page was surprising to her.

Sinclair recalls facing comments that she was lying. To her, it felt like bullying.

However, she was glad she wasn't the only one who responded to those who had questioned the girl's actions or motives.

But in the court of public opinion, many are placing their focus not on the person charged with the crime but on the girl who reported it. That's not uncommon, experts on sexual assaults say.

When Heather Lynette Sinclair saw comments that blamed the girl in the case on local station WBOC TV's Facebook page, she posted plenty of comments in response to defend her. Having people defend her helped Sinclair after she went public with her own story of being sexually assaulted, she said.

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Legal Institute about 10 years ago, Jordan said she expected some clients would be college students. But the amount of high school student survivors ???? from incidents both in and outside of school ???? has been a surprise, she said.

When the Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault started the Sexual Assault Nike Sb Long Sleeve Top

"It's shocking how many are in school or on school grounds or on school buses," Jordan said.

Recriminations can add to a rape survivor's trauma and prevent other victims from coming forward, rape crisis experts say.

"It meant so much to me that these people, they were strangers to me, and they were standing up for me," said Sinclair, who went to Parkside High and now lives in Pasadena, Md.

She said she's seen an increase in high school and college cases, and sexual assault cases overall in the state. She hopes the number is rising because more people are reporting what happened rather than that assaults are happening more frequently.

The Daily Times does not name victims of sexual assault, including the teen in the Parkside case. Sinclair, however, gave permission for her name to be used. She is the founder of the Lynette's Law for Maryland movement, which is currently working to make therapist sexual abuse a crime in Maryland.

"It was really hard, because it takes a lot to come out about your personal tragedy," Sinclair said. "It really does."

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People might be more likely to believe a victim if she had been walking in a bad neighborhood, Sinclair said. But Nike Hoodie Running

"It was such an inspiring day for me to see other people come out and support her," Sinclair said.

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People will blame the victim in a sexual assault case when they wouldn't talk about a victim's character in a burglary, Hughes noted.

Lisae C. Jordan, executive director and counsel of the Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault, brought up the same point. People sometimes say they wouldn't do what the victim did, which distances themselves from the reality of what occurred.

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The public's discomfort

The possibility of a rape occurring at a school is not unthinkable, experts say.

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Nike Training Jacket Mens

"I think it often stems from a fear that something like this could happen to them, and so they want to make themselves different from the survivor," Jordan said.

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When others wrote comments to support her, that was a Nike Sportswear Tech Fleece Windrunner Women's Full-zip Hoodie

for the public to hear a rape may have occurred at a high school is a different story.

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